On the Corner

Life’s balancing act

by Robert Docter, Editor-In-Chief –

I heard the other day that a lot of people who have piled on a lot of years have a lot trouble with balance.

Suddenly, they lose it. Their balance is not available when they need it, and whatever corrective mechanism used to be in place to fine tune a balance has taken some time off.

Let me tell you something. Problems with balance plague a lot more than just older people.

Occasionally, we all lose our balance some more than others.

Balance involves avoiding falls.

In some situations, the falls are relatively safe.
Those situations might be similar to practicing your balance on a low balance beam, you know the kind where the two by four is only about three inches off the floor. You can see that even falling is easy. So, you slide out on the beam to about the middle and suddenly you seem pulled by a very compelling force to fall off to the right. You swing your arms, bend your body and struggle to regain that fragile balance that allowed you to step out with confidence. Possibly, you over-correct, and you lose it and fall off on the left side of the beam. No problem.

Some falls kill.
Often, this occurs through mistakes in judgment. They haven’t examined the risk balance. They need to ask such questions as “should I engage in this potentially dangerous activity or play it safe? Have I sufficient data to make this decision? What are the consequences of every possible event if I take the plunge?”

If the “water” you are about to enter looks deep from your position 15 feet above the surface and you dive in only to discover your head hits a shallow bottom and breaks your neck, you have a big problem.

Some pay for the imbalance with their health.
We mess with our health in many ways over-eating, under eating, drinking stuff to which we become addicted, failing to get proper exercise. But here’s a problem I’ve only recently discovered electrolyte imbalance.

Electrolytes are those little positive and negative ions that deliver balance to all bodily functions if they are out of balance, you are in the “so long” mode unless you correct the imbalance quickly.

Our bodies are magnificent creations, but we decide what goes in them and how we treat them.
Incorrect assumptions about sodium, potassium, magnesium, chlorine can kill us. We excrete these electrolytes. Therefore, they need to be replenished intelligently. They affect the way our mind works and, if imbalanced, we become wacky. They affect the way our muscles work including out heart and, if imbalanced, we suffer the consequences

Of course, remember you can fall of the balance beam in either direction. Similarly you can have too many or too few of one or more of these electrical conductors. You need to know the symptoms that tell you when you are out of balance, because it’s a hidden problem.

Some imbalances ruin people financially.
I saw a guy the other day who had won around $100 in the lottery. He cashed in his ticket and immediately bought $200 worth of various games like the lottery. He didn’t look as if he could afford it. I believe his decision making was impulsively unbalanced.

I know another fellow who is addicted to Internet stock market trading. He has now gone through his life’s savings including income from his father’s will. If it weren’t for his wife, the house would be next.

Some take a spiritual nose dive.
This happens when we make a moral mistake in judgment. Our values become shaky, and we rationalize a position that allows us to continue certain types of behavior. This begins to erode the fragile balance of right action and wrong action. Maybe we believe we won’t get caught. Maybe we simply want to be perceived as “cool” in order to enhance our membership with the popular group. We allow the “crowd” to determine the nature of our spiritual balance. Our balance has gone off center.

Possibly, we have become so enmeshed in religious practice that we have transferred our devotion from God to our zealousness to engage in the ritual of worship while losing sight of who we worship.

This kind of a fall is just as subtle just as hidden just as dangerous as any of the others.

Maintaining balance.
We have within us the necessary skills and attributes to maintain balance. If we become imbalanced in any part of life we have leaned either too far in one direction or another. We have failed to notice the symptoms of imbalance.

We can avoid a fall by increasing symptom awareness. A strong, honest support system of family and friends can help grab us when we begin to lose our balance and head for a fall.

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